Castel del Monte

Castel del Monte

76123 Andria BT, Italy

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Frederick II was known as "Stupor Mundi" for her versatility and the breadth of his culture. What few remember it is the great passion for esotericism, the symbolism and mystery. The Castel del Monte, indeed, It was built by Frederick II with a precise geometric pattern: octagonal base, with eight rooms on the ground floor and the same number in the first, to each of the 8 Strong sides of a tower with octagonal base. The mathematical and astronomical rigor of its plan, based on the eight as guide number and its positioning, studied in order to create special symmetries of light in the days of solstice and equinox, create a symbolism that fascinates scholars for centuries, leaving visitors with a pleasant feeling of enigma. Castel del Monte despite being a medieval fort combines different stylistic elements, from Romanesque cutting lions entrance to the gothic setting of the towers, from classical art of interior decorations of the defensive structure to the delicate subtleties of Islamic mosaics. A perfect synthesis between science, mathematics and art, Castle has been called "petrification of an ideology of power, manifesto of kingship translated into a material that is resistant over time. "

Criteria for Admission UNESCO

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee at the 20th Session held in Merida - Mexico in 1996, based on the criteria (i), (ii) e (iii), Frederick has placed the monument in the World Heritage List, because "Castel del Monte has an exceptional universal value for the perfection of its forms, the harmonious blending of cultural elements from northern Europe, from the Muslim world, and classical antiquity. It is a unique masterpiece of medieval architecture, reflecting the humanism of its founder, Frederick II of Swabia ".

Art and Culture History

A founding the city of Andria was the greek hero Diomedes, but the hypothesis is not supported by any historical testimony. Archaeological research however confirms that near Andria there was the Rudae station, on the Via Traiana, around which were built in medieval villages and churches. In 1046 Peter the Norman, Count of Trani, He surrounded it with walls of the houses that were scattered in the territory elevating Andria to rank of civitas. In the twelfth century the city came under the dominion Swabian. The Emperor Frederick II held in high regard for loyalty dimostratagli during the rebellions followed to his excommunication by Pope Gregory IX: near the town, indeed, It is the superb construction of Castel del Monte, according to tradition, the crypt of the Cathedral preserves the mortal remains of the wives, Isabella II of Jerusalem and Isabella of England. In Andria was born the son Corrado IV of Swabia, future emperor. Defeated Manfredi at Benevento in 1266, Andria passed to Anjou and becoming first County, subsequently, The Duchy with Francesco del Balzo. The Duke Francesco II Del Balzo, in 1438, following the discovery of the bones of St. Richard, patron of the city, established the April fair is still held today. In 1507 the Duchy of Andria was donated by Ferdinand the Catholic to Consalvo of Cordova as a reward the support in the fight against the French. In 1522 Andria, along with the Castel del Monte, It was bought by the Count of Ruvo Fabrizio Carafa. The 22 February 1556, Antonio Carafa, son of Fabrizio, He held the title of Duke of Andria by King Philip II of Spain. The 23 March 1799 French troops of the Republic Partenopea guided by General Broussier and Hector Carafa besieged Andria, remained faithful to the Bourbons, and they placed it on fire. After the tragic conclusion of the Neapolitan revolution, King Ferdinand had him executed in Naples Ettore Carafa. The short murattiana season saw the abolition of feudalism and confiscation of church property. But Andria remained faithful to the Bourbons. Following the city followed the evolution of the Risorgimento, the Kingdom of Italy and the Republic.

Castel Del Monte

With a mandate from the 29 January 1240, Gubbio, Frederick II ordered the purchase of building material for Castrum apud Sanctum Mariam de Monte, original name of the Castle due to the presence of a nearby Benedictine abbey now destroyed. Built directly on the bedrock, the building dominates the Murgia landscape with its polygonal shape, delineated by compact curtains where they open on the lower floor arched windows, the first double lancet goticheggianti and a single lancet facing Andria, very expensive city to Frederick II for his constant fidelity. The number eight and the octagonal shape are the characteristic elements of Castel del Monte; around the octagonal courtyard they have in fact both the ground floor and first floor eight rooms trapezoidal, to form an octagon, on whose edges are grafted eight towers of similar form. The Castle is also strongly characterized by the coexistence of very different cultural backgrounds, but perfectly integrated with each other, all closely related to the multifaceted personality of Frederick II. The echo of Romanesque it captures in projecting lions of monumental portal, while the Gothic matrix is ​​evident in the ogive of portals and vaults, crochet in the capitals and expressionism of telamons shelves and scalar towers; classical influences are evident in the friezes and door-frames windows facing the yard, in acanthus leaves of some marble capitals, in the layout of the portal. The mosaic pavement remains eighth in the ground floor lounge and the use of different materials - limestone, veined marble, coral crushed - return, instead, to the Islamic. These different colored materials had to create chromatic effects of great beauty: limestone in masonry walls, coral breach in single and portals, Marble pillars in the first floor. coral breccia marble slabs and probably also clothed the walls of rooms originally. Profoundly different from other Swabian castles, particularly numerous in Puglia, Castel del Monte still fascinates today's scholars for its intended use uncertain. Although devoid of some of the typical elements of medieval military, such as the moat, the castle, clearly visible at a great distance, It played an important role within the network castellare Frederick, as a link between the coastal defensive line and that of the hinterland. Purchased by the Italian State in 1876, The castle is now given to the Superintendence for the architectural and landscape of the provinces of Bari and Foggia, It holds exhibitions, concerts, conferences and cultural initiatives, and is the most visited monument-museum of Puglia.


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